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There’s nothing like the mention of headlice to make your scalp suddenly feel itchy. These irritating little creatures are the worst enemies for parents and carers of young children. They are only spread by direct head-to-head contact and are most common among children primary age or younger. They can be frustratingly hard to treat with insecticide resistance becoming a growing problem. But there are natural options to treat these infuriating insects.

There is evidence to support the use of essential oils to treat headlice. Tea tree oil is most commonly used, however other oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint have also been suggested to help. There are some commercially available products which feature these oils and can be easily bought from the pharmacy. Calanna Pharmacy have also formulated their own products in the Mario’s range which contain natural ingredients. Check with your local store to find out if they have stock.

If essential oils can’t be used, the wet combing technique is the other natural option for headlice. It is the most time-consuming method of headlice elimination but is very effective. Any type of conditioner can be used. The conditioner is thoroughly applied to all the hair. After 15 minutes a lice comb is used to comb the hair carefully, section by section. In between each comb stroke the comb is cleaned on a cloth. This aids in the removal of lice from the hair. Because the conditioner doesn’t kill the lice, the wet combing technique needs to be used repeatedly to be effective. It is recommended to use the wet combing technique every 2 days until no headlice are found.

A headlice infection can be exasperating. But carefully, well-timed treatments can make a difference. When insecticide treatment fails, or can’t be used, there are more natural options. Talk to your pharmacist or naturopath to find a suitable alternative.